61, an old steam engine, is to move from the roof of the Port
Elizabeth Museum after nine years.
The locomotive will be taken to the Humewood Road locomotive depot on Thursday before being moved to the South African Railway Museum in Johannesburg.
Work began today on a special steel track being built on old wooden sleepers, between the museum roof and the terrace of an adjoining hotel.
Mr Koos Moolman, assistant mechanical engineer of the Railways, said "operation Laco" would be a tricky manoeuvre when the 33 tons of blackened steel made its way along the temporary track.
The locomotive will be lowered on to a low-bed trailer by a
breakdown crane and will then be transported to the depot.
|Dr John Wallace, director of the
Museum complex, said plans for a transport hall had been
scrapped because more specialised halls of transport had been
started in other parts of South Africa.
They, therefore, decided to return the steam engine and tender to the Railways.
Other items had been donated to various transport halls.
A home is still being sought for a Van Riebeeck stage-coach.
Dr Wallace said only items of interest to Port Elizabeth, such as the Victoriana coach and a 1926 Chevrolet, would be retained at the museum.
The steam engine ended an active life which started in Philadelphia, in 1915. She chugged along the narrow gauge Langkloof line from 1916 to 1965.